Hayden - We can save game
Matthew Hayden admitted he went back to basics to produce a crucial innings of 83 in the third Test between Australia and India
Last Updated: 31/10/08 5:02pm
Matthew Hayden admitted he went back to basics to produce a crucial innings of 83 in the third Test between Australia and India.
The Queensland opener helped the tourists reach 338-4 by the close of day three in reply to India's 613-7 declared.
The other members of Australia's top four - Simon Katich, Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey - also notched half-centuries to give their side a chance of salvaging a draw in Delhi.
"With 600 on the board, it required a more traditional type of innings," said Hayden, whose side trail 1-0 in the four-game series after losing the second Test by 320 runs.
"Today I really set myself to bat a long time and took advantage of the loose ball.
"I felt relaxed from ball one, and through last night as well."
Hayden had accumulated a meagre 42 runs from the first two matches, twice being dismissed for ducks.
"It was frustrating for the top three batsmen to fall after getting half-centuries, but it was still a very good day for Australia," added Hayden.
"Four for 300 was a good result.
"We're very confident, we've got a good batting line-up to come."
Hayden praised the Indian bowlers, saying they had done a fine job in the circumstances.
"Anil (Kumble) and Amit (Mishra) bowled admirably well today," he said.
"Interestingly, (Virender) Sehwag also got some spin from the new ball. He bowled really well. He had spin, speed and variation
"He (Sehwag) is not a big turner of the ball like Harbhajan Singh, but he knows the conditions really well.
"There are some challenging conditions to face, especially with spin, but it is one we are going to enjoy."
Part-time off-spinner Sehwag was pressed into service after Kumble injured his finger while attempting a catch and was forced to leave the field.
Sehwag picked up three of the four wickets to fall including Hayden, who was trapped leg before.
"The match is not in anyone's favour just yet," said Sehwag. "We will have to see how it goes tomorrow morning. But I think it will not be easy to save a match on this wicket.
"The ball is now spinning from the rough on the edge of the wicket, but once the pitch cracks, it will make batting difficult.
"Anil will return tomorrow and he will bowl a lot better than I did today.
"Australia will find it difficult."
Sehwag said the wickets were a bonus as he was only trying to restrict the runs.
"Anil was injured so someone had to bowl," he said. "I got this opportunity to bowl 20 overs after a long time. I just wanted to contain the runs and that's what I did and in the process also got the wickets.
"Now I have a chance to claim my first five-wicket haul."